Correctly Defining Success

There has been a study done recently that discusses the benefits that kids of working moms have over kids of stay at home moms. First, let me say, I am not interested in discussing if moms should or should not work outside of the home, I am not interested in discussing why I am a stay at home mom, but I am interested in discussing the point made in this study. When you break down what they are saying in the study, they are equating “benefits” to success, basically saying that children of working moms are more “successful” in life.


The study says,

“Women whose moms worked outside the home are more likely to have jobs themselves, are more likely to hold supervisory responsibility at those jobs, and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed home full time, according to a new study. Men raised by working mothers are more likely to contribute to household chores and spend more time caring for family members.”

Notice something? The subtext of this is money and gender equality, something that plays very little importance to me and how I raise my children and something that does not equal “benefit” or “successful” in my opinion. 


So, they are saying, I should miss out on field trips, school drop off and pick up, first steps, exclusive breastfeeding, and summer afternoon playdates so that later in life my daughter might someday make a higher wage? Or so that my son understands the importance of sharing the house work? I think they have defined “successful” incorrectly.


Here is how I define “successful.” I went to school, I even have a masters degree, but that is insignificant at this point in my life. I have a very happy marriage, a husband that pitches in on housework even though I am a stay at home mom, well behaved children and I haven’t miss a single important moment with them. I have a son who is learning from his father how to be a good husband, one that provides for his family and also helps out around the house. I have learned to budget our money so that we can comfortably live on one salary. We have a roof over our head, a home cooked meal every night, and our feet firmly planted on the rock that is Jesus Christ. That sounds like a “successful” life to me.


And the lessons my children will learn from me that will later “benefit” them in life? They may not learn how to earn more money but they will learn how to wisely use the money they have. Is that not a benefit? My daughter doesn’t need me to go to work to learn from me that a good husband helps out around the house, she sees that everyday. She will learn, however, to marry a man that is willing to put the family’s financial responsibility on his back so that she can focus completely on loving and nurturing her family, if that is the path she chooses to take for herself. I believe that is a pretty good “benefit” of having a stay at home mom. And in my option, men raise men so my son certainly doesn’t need to learn how to be a good man and husband by seeing me go to work, he is going to learn that from his father just fine.


So, maybe my daughter won’t aspire to have an upper management position, but my son certainly will participate in house work and my daughter can find “success” in whatever she chooses to do, even if that is wiping her babies’ behinds for a living. If you ask me, a high paying salary does not equal success. 

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.


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Jessica is a follower of Jesus, a wife, and a mommy. A family life expert who writes about her personal life, parenting adventures, and everything in-between.


  1. I totally agree with you!

    I don’t think children of stay at home parents have less ideas about their options – I just think that whatever contributed to their own happy childhood tends to be what people repeat if possible. Most things I hear moms talking about, be it staying at home vs. work, sleep methods, etc, is often prefaced by “my mom did it this way and I turned out well.” 🙂

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